My quilt guild, Empire Quilters, arranges some amazing field trips in New York City. Monday was no exception with the visit to Dye-Namix, located on Grand Street in Manhattan. I was excited to visit their open, airy offices that are responsible for many custom-designed fabrics for designers, costumers, and performers.
The president of Dye-Namix is Raylene Marasco. Raylene began her career as a sculptor and learned a little about fabric dyeing during her studies. She had no interest in sewing (still doesn’t!) or dyeing until got a job dyeing fabric for a large New York costume shop. She admits that she knew little about how to dye fabric and learned by experimenting. After less than 2 years with the costume shop, she started Dye-Namix in 1991. Raylene still maintains the “I don’t know the right way, so let’s just find a way” attitude toward dyeing, and it shows as she develops innovative techniques every season.
The clients of Dye-Namix read like a “Who’s Who” in fashion — including Ann Taylor, Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren — as well as actresses, movie directors, costume makers, and more. Raylene had some great stories about the need to match fabric in order to fix dresses before the Oscars, as well as last-minute changes that were required for runway shows. She also passed around many of their portfolio books, containing examples of their silk screening, hand dying, and digitally printed textiles, as well as the models who wore the finished garments.
I found it interesting to learn that designers rely on Dye-Namix to create new and innovative fabric choices for each season. Raylene showed us many of their “experiments” where they chemically manipulate (and use other techniques) fabric to change its look and feel. Designers then use these innovative fabrics in their shows.
My blog readers know that I am a huge fan of Project Runway. Over the last four seasons, contestants have designed their own fabrics. It turns out that Dye-Namix actually produced that fabric. They had large swatches in a design book and it was thrilling to see the fabric I was introduced to on television. By the way, the fabric looked far more vibrant in person than it did on television.
I was thrilled to visit this company. It is wonderful to see a successful, woman-owned business that partners with designers and costumers. It sounds like Dye-Namix’s ability to provide fabulous service and innovative fabric choices has made them a winner.
You can learn more about Dye-Namix at their website.